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Celebrate the AU community and make your impact this Founders Day!

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36 hours of giving

Inspired by a letter from George Washington expressing his desire for a national university, The American University was chartered by an Act of Congress on December 5, 1892 and approved by President Benjamin Harrison on February 24, 1893; thus, marking AU's Founders Day.

Founders Day, one of American University’s most enduring traditions, was first celebrated on February 21, 1931, with a banquet and pageant sponsored by the Women’s Guild of the university. There were more than 200 guests, and $5,000 was raised for scholarships.

This year, the Founders Day Challenge, a 36-hour giving event, will kick off on Monday, February 25, at 7 a.m. and run through 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 26. Founders Day is an opportunity for AU Eagles across the globe to come together to support the changemakers of today and tomorrow. 

By funding initiatives across campus and touching areas of the university from academic research to student life, donors on Founders Day truly make an impact. This is the biggest Founders Day Challenge yet, with a goal of 1,000 donors. Gifts of any amount during the Founders Day Challenge will help secure a significant challenge gift in support of the university, magnifying the impact AU’s students, faculty, and staff have on our changing world.  

To make your impact or for more information, visit